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Underland : a deep time journey / Robert Macfarlane.

By: Macfarlane, Robert, 1976-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Hamish Hamilton, 2019Copyright date: ©2019 Description: vii, 487 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780241143803 (hardback).Subject(s): Civilization, Subterranean | Underground areas -- History | Voyages and travels | GeologyDDC classification: 551.44/7 Summary: From the vast underground mycelial networks by which trees communicate to the ice-blue depths of glacial moulins, and from North Yorkshire to the Lofoten Islands, Robert Macfarlane traces a voyage through the worlds beneath our feet. He reaches back into the deep history of the planet, through the layers of rock and ancient buried objects, and forward to the future, the legacy of the Anthropocene and the world we bequeath our descendants.
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Non-Fiction 551.447 MAC Coming Soon

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT GOLDEN BEER BOOK PRIZE 2019

The highly anticipated new book from the internationally bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Lost Words and The Old Ways

'You'd be crazy not to read this book' The Sunday Times

' Underland is a magnificent feat of writing, travelling and thinking that feels genuinely frontier pushing, unsettling and exploratory' Evening Standard

'Marvellous... Neverending curiosity, generosity of spirit, erudition, bravery and clarity... This is a book well worth reading' The Times

'Extraordinary... at once learned and readable, thrilling and beautifully written' Observer

'Attentive, thoughtful, finely honed... I turned the last page with the unusual conviction of having been in the company of a fine writer who is - who must surely be - a good man' Telegraph

'Poetry, science, a healthy sense of the uncanny and a touch of the shamanic are the hallmarks of his writing... This is a journey that tells the story not just of nature but of human nature. And there is noone I would more gladly follow on it' i

'Startling and memorable, charting invisible and vanishing worlds. Macfarlane has made himself Orpheus, the poet who ventures down to the darkest depths and returns - frighteningly alone-to sing of what he has seen' New Statesman

Discover the hidden worlds beneath our feet...

In Underland , Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane's long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart.

'Macfarlane has invented a new kind of book, really a new genre entirely' The Irish Times

'He is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation' Wall Street Journal

'Macfarlane has shown how utterly beautiful a brilliantly written travel book can still be' Observer on The Old Ways

'Irradiated by a profound sense of wonder ... Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly' Independent on Landmarks

'It sets the imagination tingling ...like reading a prose Odyssey sprinkled with imagist poems' The Sunday Times on The Old Ways

Includes bibliographical references (pages 427-464) and index.

From the vast underground mycelial networks by which trees communicate to the ice-blue depths of glacial moulins, and from North Yorkshire to the Lofoten Islands, Robert Macfarlane traces a voyage through the worlds beneath our feet. He reaches back into the deep history of the planet, through the layers of rock and ancient buried objects, and forward to the future, the legacy of the Anthropocene and the world we bequeath our descendants.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Macfarlane (The Old Ways; Landmarks) continues to explore the connections between humans and landscape, this time revealing our complex relationship to what lies beneath. The quest takes the author to some extraordinary subterranean places, including Bronze Age funeral chambers in Somerset, England; the Timavo River 1,000 feet underground in Slovenia and northeast Italy; the Paris catacombs; Greenland's Rasmussen Glacier; and a Finnish nuclear waste depository. Terrifying white-knuckle adventures are often followed by moments of exquisite relief, as the author emerges from darkness into light, getting "high on hue." Readers will be charmed by Macfarlane's genial relationships with his local guides and horrified by how far the dreck of the Anthropocene has penetrated into seemingly remote places. His fondness for unusual words makes the writing sparkle, as do his experiments with nonfiction form-Macfarlane works the "echoes, patterns, and connections" of his underworld subject the way a poet might, and, as a master prose stylist, he can describe a glacier calving with a long sentence that's both surprising and effective. VERDICT A sterling book by one of the most important nature writers working today.-Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nature writer Macfarlane (The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot) expands readers' horizons while delving into the various "worlds beneath our feet" in an eye-opening, lyrical, and even moving exploration. His look at the network of roots below London's Epping Forest leads into a discussion of the recent discovery that trees share nutrients with neighboring trees that are ill or under stress, a finding consistent with new ideas about plant intelligence and a "wood wide web" of interconnected plant and fungal life. In another section, Macfarlane descends more than half a mile below the Yorkshire countryside to visit "a laboratory set into a band of translucent silver rock salt left behind by the evaporation of an epicontinental northern sea some 250 million years earlier," where a physicist is searching for proof of dark matter's existence. Here, too, Macfarlane makes counterintuitive concepts fully accessible while capturing the poetry beneath the science, describing the tangible world humans perceive "as mere mist and silk" in relation to dark matter. Perhaps most importantly, he places humanity's time on Earth in a geological context, revealing how relatively insignificant it is. Macfarlane's rich, evocative survey enables readers to view themselves "as part of a web... stretching over millions of years past and millions to come," and deepen their understanding of the planet. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

In the astonishing, keen sequel to The Old Ways (2012), revered nature writer Macfarlane considers the disparate spaces humanity has used to shelter, yield, and dispose that which we fear and wish to lose, and that which we love and wish to save. In three sections Seeing, Hiding, and Haunting and in vivid, rhythmic prose, Macfarlane describes a formidable array of mostly abhorred places, some underground. For example, one of the most complex, little-understood, and overlooked communication networks lies just underfoot as the roots of mighty trees and microscopic mycelia nourish and heal each other. Paris' labyrinth of catacombs and tunnels was created to cradle the dead, but it has become a lively city mirroring its above-ground sister. At the poles, glaciers are melting at an astounding rate, sounding an alarm few choose to hear. Underland masterfully and subtly argues the necessity of looking beyond our species and the Anthropocene the present era of cataclysmic change to dive into deep time and grasp the greater context of life on Earth. Humanity's past mistakes, thought long-buried, persistently reemerge, and Macfarlane urges us to confront these crucial realities. A powerful, epic journey for anyone wondering about the world below and all around us and, perhaps more important, for those who aren't.--Katharine Uhrich Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

An exploration of the little-visited realms of the Earth, from deep caves to bunkers, trenches to Bronze Age burial chambers, courtesy of an accomplished Virgil.Macfarlane (The Lost Words, 2018, etc.), who has pretty well revived single-handedly the fine British tradition of literary natural history writing, can usually be found atop mountains. In his latest, he heads in the opposite direction, probing the depths of the Earth to find the places in which humans have invested considerable imaginative attention yet fear to tread. He opens with a cave network discovered in China's Chongqing province only a few years ago that "was found to possess its own weather system," with layers of dank cold mist that never see sunlight. From there, the author moves on to other places that require us to "go low," into places that humans usually venture only to hide thingstreasure, sacred texts, bodies. Now that many such places are making themselves known, exposed during construction excavations and unveiled by melting permafrost, "things that should have stayed buried are rising up unbidden"treasure sometimes, more often just bodies. All of this is occasion for Macfarlane, a gifted storyteller and poetic writer, to ponder what historians have called "deep time," the time that is measured in geological rather than human terms and against which the existence of our kind is but a blip. Even places well known or celebrated in antiquityfrom the underworld of The Epic of Gilgamesh to the Iron Age mines of the Mendip Hills of southwestern Englandare recent points on the map of that ancient landscape. As he moves from continent to continent, Macfarlane instructs us on how to see those places, laced with secrets and mysteries ("all taxonomies crumble, but fungi leave many of our fundamental categories in ruin"). Wherever he travels, he enhances our sense of wonder which, after all, is the whole point of storytelling.A treasure all its own. Anyone who cares to ponder the world beneath our feet will find this to be an essential text. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.